5 shocking facts about extreme global inequality and how to even it up in Davos

P Dinh Tien Hoang, Hanoi City, Vietnam, November 2016. Vietnam has a strong record of poverty reduction, but today, increasing inequality is threatening decades of progress.
P Dinh Tien Hoang, Hanoi City, Vietnam, November 2016. Vietnam has a strong record of poverty reduction, but today, increasing inequality is threatening decades of progress.

The inequality crisis is far bigger than we had feared. The World Bank is clear they will miss their goal of ending extreme poverty by 2013 if world leaders don't redouble their efforts to tackle global inequality.

Large corporations and those on the top play a key role in widening this gap. Super-rich people use a network of tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of tax, drive down wages for their workers and the prices paid to producers, and investing less in their business. They also use their connections to ensure government policy works for them.

There is a huge gap between the super-rich and the rest of the world population that traps millions in poverty, fracturing our societies and undermining democracy. It leaves more people living in fear and fewer in hope.

But how big the inequality gap is it? Check it by the numbers:

  1. Just eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. Although some of them have earned their fortune through talent or hard work, over half the world’s billionaires either inherited their wealth or accumulated it through industries prone to corruption and cronyism.
     
  2. Seven out of 10 people live in a country that has seen a rise in inequality in the last 30 years.
     
  3. The richest are accumulating wealth at such an astonishing rate that the world could see its first trillionaire in just 25 years. So, you would need to spend $1 million every day for 2738 years to spend $1 trillion.

    Margaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, washing clothes outside her employer's house in Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya, 2016. Photo: Allan Gichigi/OxfamMargaret Mumbua, 46, a domestic worker, washing clothes outside her employer's house in Eastleigh Nairobi, Kenya, 2016. Photo: Allan Gichigi/Oxfam
     
  4. Extreme inequality across the globe is having a tremendous impact on women’s lives. Employed women, who face high levels of discrimination in the work place, and take on a disproportionate amount of unpaid care work often find themselves at the bottom of the pile. On current trends, it will take 170 years for women to be paid the same as men.
     
  5. Corporate tax dodging costs poor countries at least $100 billion every year. This is enough money to provide an education for the 124 million children who aren’t in school and prevent the deaths of at least six million children thanks to health care services.

A human economy that works for the 99%

Together we need to create a new common sense, and design an economy that benefits everyone, not just the privileged few.  A new human economy that would create better and fairer societies where workers would receive decent wages, women and men would be treated equally, children would have opportunities and no one would live in fear of the cost of falling sick.

Join the call for an economy that works for everyone, not just the fortunate few

Tell billionaires to help build an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. Sign the letter.

Governments need to lead, but everyone has to make it their business to fight inequality. That means billionaires, too, need to make sure they don’t dodge tax. Make sure they pay fair wages and use their wealth for good, not to skew the system further in their favor. 
Find out more about our campaign Even It Up. Together, we can end extreme inequality, and overcome poverty for good.